Costas Paris of The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the bankruptcy estate for Bed Bath & Beyond wants the world’s biggest ocean container mover to pay for pandemic disruptions. He writes:
The bankruptcy estate of Bed Bath & Beyond has filed the largest ever lawsuit with the Federal Maritime Commission, seeking around $300 million from Mediterranean Shipping Co. for allegedly overcharging to move its cargo during the pandemic.
The bankrupt retailer wants Geneva-based MSC, the world’s largest boxship operator in terms of capacity, to pay around $150 million for damages and an equal sum for what it described as exploitative and coercive behavior. Complaints by American companies are handled by the FMC, the U.S. maritime regulator.
Bed Bath & Beyond filed for bankruptcy protection in April, after years of losses. It subsequently closed all of its stores and sold its brand to Overstock.com, which has taken on the Bed Bath & Beyond name. The bankrupt estate changed its legal name to DK Butterfly.
The 36-page lawsuit said MSC’s performance in 2021 was “abysmal” and details how the retailer had to pay high freight rates in the spot market to get its goods shipped. It also claims that MSC failed to meet its contractual obligations in terms of pricing along with saddling the retailer with surcharges.
“MSC’s behavior has caused significant harm” and lost profits due to cargo that wasn’t imported as well as the shipping surcharges, the complaint said. The complaint asks the FMC to determine damages. […]
The former home-goods retailer previously brought similar claims against Taiwanese carrier Yang Ming Marine Transport and Hong Kong-based carrier OOCL, but claiming much smaller damages.
The FMC dismissed last week a case against Korean carrier HMM by Illinois food importer MSRF on alleged damages from the capacity constraints.
Read more here.